Physician Assistant (PA) Program

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional status to the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status.  The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The Physician Assistant (PA) Program's mission is to prepare graduates to be academically, clinically, professionally, and culturally competent in the delivery of health care services, to develop critical thinking and application skills, and to provide compassionate and comprehensive care to the patients that they will serve. Our graduates will improve the health of their patients and the populations that they serve in an efficient and cost-conscious manner.

Learn more about applying to the Physician Assistant program >>

Fast Facts about Penn State Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine >>

Large Group Information Session:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Penn State College of Medicine-Junker Auditorium
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Online Information Session:

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.
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The White Coat Ceremony was made possible with a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

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Students graduating from the Penn State College of Medicine PA program will be awarded a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.

The Penn State PA Program, located on the Penn State College of Medicine Campus in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a 24-month, full-time graduate program with the inaugural 30-student class enrolling in May 2014 and graduating in May 2016.

This master's degree is a professional graduate degree which identifies the recipient as being trained in the practice of medicine as a physician assistant. This degree is not a preparation in the science of medicine but rather connotes preparation for professional practice as a physician assistant.

This degree is awarded as a Penn State degree and is presented from the College of Medicine. Students who complete all graduation requirements will take part in the annual College of Medicine Graduation Ceremony held each May.

Consistent with the goals of the Penn State College of Medicine, the program will emphasize humanism in medicine which takes into account the dedication of individualized and personalized medicine. It will focus on providing preventive health care services, care for both acute and chronic disease, and will support development of lifelong learning and cultural diversity. Students will be prepared for their professional role as clinicians with an emphasis on care provided in the primary care setting.

We believe that the Penn State PA program will prepare its graduates for modern medical practice and that these graduates will be supremely prepared for their role as clinicians. The goals of our program are the following:

  • attract a diverse, academically qualified graduate student;
  • promote application of learning and development of critical thinking skills;
  • enable graduates to practice competent and compassionate health care with emphasis in primary care;
  • prepare students for their role as clinicians, professionals, educators, and leaders in the physician assistant profession;
  • treat the entire patient with cultural competency, addressing physical, medical, psychosocial, and emotional dimensions of the patient.

Advanced Placement:

The PA program will not award advanced placement for any course offered in the curriculum. If a student requests special exemption to this policy, the request will be denied. All of the courses are required for graduation.

Work Policy:

The Penn State PA program will not prohibit students in the program from working. The program believes that the student is the correct person to make personal decisions regarding life outside of the program. The program is cognizant that each student has made a great deal of personal sacrifices to matriculate into a PA program and students are aware of the challenges of succeeding in a PA program. To this end, the program respects the student's personal decision regarding work. The program generally does not have mandatory attendance policy for class attendance - we would like you to attend class because we feel that the teachers will be excellent classroom facilitators and instructors but we respect learning styles and the student's decision to decide on how to best assure their own learning styles. Each course in the curriculum will provide information regarding attendance and students are required to attend all scheduled tests. Although the program does not prohibit employment during the pre-clinical or clinical training, we obviously do not encourage working because of the personal demands and dedication that PA training mandates. Students attending clinical rotations will have a minimum of 40 hours per week at the clinical site and these hours may involve different shifts and weekends which would make employment very difficult. Students are expected to conform to the schedule that the individual preceptor makes and the preceptor will not be altering this schedule to accommodate a working schedule on the part of the student.

Title IX is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities and provides protections from retaliation. All public and private schools receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. The United States Department of Education (ED), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing Title IX.

Visit the Office for Diversity website for more information.

For Current Students

Title IX training materials can be found on the Infonet at the Office for Diversity website.

Questions and Contacts

Members of the University community who believe that Title IX has been violated should discuss their concerns and/or file a complaint with the University's Title IX Coordinator.

Dr. Kenneth Lehrman III, Vice Provost for Affirmative Action
328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-0471; Email: kfl2@psu.edu
www.affirmativeaction.psu.edu

The University's Title IX Deputy Coordinators are:

Kim Lantz Yoder, Equity Officer, Office for Diversity,
Penn State College of Medicine, C1747N, 500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033-0850
Phone: 717-531-0003 ext. 283353; Email: kyoder1@psu.edu
www.pennstatehershey.org/diversity

Danny Shaha, Director, Office of Student Conduct
120 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-0342; Email: jds49psu.edu

Charmelle Green, Associate Athletic Director, Intercollegiate Athletics,
102 Jordan Center, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-1104; Email: cag30@psu.edu

Sexual Harassment and Assault Reporting and Education (SHARE)

More information on Title IX and direct links for reporting and can be found on the SHARE website which is intended to provide assistance in obtaining information and identifying resources for anyone who becomes aware of these incidents.

Penn State University Affirmative Action Office (AAO) Links